#28daysofwriting Day 1

So 28 minutes to write.  What about? I wasn’t sure how I was going to do this but yesterday when I was out walking the idea just came to me!  Amazing how being out in the fresh air, away from technology, the classroom, the housework and everything else that serves to distract me, helps me to formulate my thoughts.

Why was I out walking? Well, first of all because I love the outdoors and try to get out as often as I can (which is not as often as I would like) but secondly, and possibly more importantly, I have, mad thing that I am, committed myself to walking 100km to raise money for Oxfam with thee other equally mad women.  Actually, I say equally mad but I think two of them are madder because they have walked it before and know how gruelling it is!

So there I was, trotting behind my team mates who are much fitter and faster than me thinking, “Oh my goodness, what have  let myself in for?!”  They are seasoned long distance runners and multisport participants and little old me has never run further than 15km before.  I have done lots of mountain walking, and caving and kayaking and climbing.  I am an adventurous sort.  But I have never undertaken anything as long as this that requires training.  Training! What is that? Five days a week averaging 15km a day at the ridiculously fast (for me) pace of around 7km an hour!  That’s what training is.  And, of course, I have come in late to the programme.  The Oxfam website has a recommended training schedule (we’re aiming to do it fast = 18 -24 hrs) which runs for 16 weeks.  We have 7 weeks to go before the big day.  28th March – check it out! So the training programme starts for us at week 10. Yes, straight in to just about the peak time and starting right from scratch for me! That’s why all I see as we walk is three bottoms!women walking through a forest.

So, I hear you asking, “Why?”.  Good question, and one that I was pondering as I struggled to keep up yesterday.  Why?  It seemed like a good idea when my friend suggested it in the staffroom one day.  I felt I needed a challenge in my 6th decade of life. It is a strange thing, isn’t it, age?  I don’t feel old at 52 years and 11 months old.  But, what does prey on my mind is that my Mum died at the age of 53 years and 1 day.  And I am frighteningly close now to not knowing what life holds for me past that point.  I have no point of reference.  I see my Mum when I look in the mirror, but I don’t know what the future me will look like because Mum’s face stops at 53 years and 1 day.  So, before I get maudlin and start to cry, I guess I’m doing this for my Mum.  To prove that life goes on, as well as because it is a huge challenge and we all need challenges to test ourselves and I haven’t had a real physical challenge for a while.  It will keep me away from work and help to redress some of my work life balance which has swung heavily to the side of work over the last few years, it will help my fitness (as long as my body doesn’t break from the training!), and I am doing something to help others.

So my #28daysofwriting may well be a chronicle of the next 4 weeks of training as I build up to the big day.  What has that to do with learning?  Oh, everything!

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